I’ve always wondered how Google, just one of the thousands of search engines available on the internet, has become the powerhouse it is today. As a student at Elizabethtown College who utilizes the search engine platform constantly, I have always wanted to push my school books aside and take a deep look into how Google can seamlessly provide users with content they desire (and make a ton of money off of it). Fortunately for me this summer, I was able to take a deep look into how companies around the country utilize Google, and other tools and sites on the internet to create success for their company.
My first week I was given the job of going through the referral sites for some of Exigo’s clients Google Analytics data to make sure they were not spam. This process may have been time consuming and seen as typical “intern work”, but taking out the referral spam on Google Analytics helps Al and Kait make better decisions from the data they collect on Google Analytics. The reoccurring theme of Al and Kait explaining to me why we would do tasks such as deleting referral spam which seemed extraneous, was actually very vital to the companies success.
Before starting my internship at Exigo Digital Marketing, I had completed an internet marketing class which gave me just a glimpse of the digital side of marketing. However, shortly after starting my internship I quickly noticed there are many more SEO techniques than just to update your meta-description tag on Google to direct more consumers to your site. In fact, I came to realize there are far more bigger factors that affect a companies ability to make a digital presence than just words and algorithms. Recently, I was asked by Kait what my top three components to a successful SEO campaign are, and why. This question brought together a lot of what I have learned this summer.
Content. Not just content, quality content is a component that cannot be passed by when it comes to a successful SEO campaign. Over the course of the Summer, I was given projects such as creating pages for sites (landing pages, etc.), Structured data (Micro data), blogposts, and customer stories. When working on these projects I had to research keywords related to each client to use in the content of the blogs, pages, etc.. Keyword research must be a priority when putting together an SEO campaign.
Website(s). This can relate to a websites design (and mobile optimization), ease of navigation, and also any other project I was tasked with was using Google Analytics to see where a sites traffic was coming from, and where users navigate to after reaching the site. Site maps help crawlers find content that may not be on the home page of your site easier and faster. Also, page links can increase your sites traffic. For example, I worked with Beaufurn, a restaurant furniture manufacturer that has many sites that directly link customers back to their home page. When looking through the referral paths and site visits, we saw that the restaurantchair.com site brought the most traffic to the site. Without this site, Beuafurn may not have been able to reach as many customers if it only used the original beaufurn.com website. Your website design and layout can have a tremendous affect on your search engine presence.
Social media. Before 2015 companies had a hard time believing in social media and its power to drive traffic to a site and build brand loyalty. However, now after seeing companies interact directly with consumers, and build “communities” on these sites to link consumers to each other. Furthermore, you can post a link to your website on posts, in your profile, or on other people’s posts to direct traffic to your site (and most of it is FREE). With that said, I can’t see why companies wouldn’t want to incorporate social media into their SEO campaign.
This internship has given me an overview of the digital side of marketing that has always piqued my interest. From Google Analytics to other tools to validate keyword cost and SERP, I now have a better understanding of what the digital world encompasses and how companies can use it to create their own success. I cannot thank Al and Kait enough for all they have taught me during the internship, I wish this experience didn’t have to end!